TikTok and promotions. Are they worth the hype?

State of the Nation Survey: What do we want to win during lockdown?
14th June 2020

TikTok has become the fastest growing app on the planet with over 2 billion downloads since its launch in 2016. Under lockdown the video app’s appeal has spread from young to old as its playful mix of music, dancing, celebrities, and memes brings joy and connection to those searching for new outlets during the Covid-19 crisis. As experts in running promotions across social media our Managing Director, Shelley Davies, considers how some brands are already taking advantage of the TikTok phenomenon.

TikTok is overtaking all the other platforms in popularity and inventiveness right now and we are seeing more and more brands take the plunge and create a presence on the platform. From our experience, social media competitions and prize draws can be an effective way to reach out to thousands of followers quickly and for relatively little cost – but is TikTok the right platform for all brands?

TikTok in numbers

  • Available in 154 countries and 75 languages worldwide
  • The no.1 app downloaded from the App Store
  • 315 million downloads in Q1 of 2020
  • 800m monthly active users
  • Average user spends 52 minutes per day on it
  • Average of 80 minutes daily usage for under 16s
  • 83% have uploaded a video

Chipotle – a prize worth winning

What do free delivery, free queso and a Chipotle sponsorship have in common? Chipotle combined them in their #ChipotleSponsorMe competition. The prize was one of five ‘Celebrity Cards’ worth $8,000 which entitled the holder to a free meal every day for a year! Followers had to post a creative Chipotle TikTok video to enter and got free queso and delivery thrown in too. The hashtag received over 2 billion views.

Pretty Little Thing – spreading the word is key

TikTok followers are less brand conscious than those on Instagram – consider that Calvin Klein has less than 20,000 followers on the platform.  Global fashion brand, Pretty Little Thing, has gained a heap of followers on the app by using lots of popular influencers to share their own promotional posts to win PLT prizes worth between £100 and £200. These promotions are usually simple “Like and Comment” style prize draws that are easy to run on a large scale.


Kind Snacks – join in the creativity

The snack bar’s #KINDsimplecrunchcontest hashtag has received over 73 million views and even involved a novel way to display their T&Cs via a TikTok video from the brand’s founder. Followers had to make a TikTok featuring a KIND bar and the hashtag to win a trip to New York and a year’s supply of bars. The winner was chosen simply by the most video views over a 3 week period and resulted in some of the most inventive videos on the platform.

Crocs – getting in on the action

Crocs only joined the platform in October and already has nearly 200k followers because of existing TikTok challenges involving the iconic shoes. Based on a line sung on a Post Malone track, the #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge encouraged followers to show off what their $1,000 Crocs would look like, celebrating the uniqueness of individuals who use TikTok, to win $1,000 in a prize draw. In total the hashtag has received over 3 billion views!






These are just a small selection of the brands harnessing the power of TikTok’s popularity using promotions. Sponsored hashtags, brand takeovers, 3D lenses and stickers are other, more expensive ways for marketers to promote their brands. But our Point of View would be to first consider if the app is the right place to target  your demographic. If it is not, users will be cynical about a brand that does not really ‘belong’ on such an irreverent platform. And remember that asking a follower to interact with a brand on TikTok requires more time and content creation than a Facebook ‘like and share’ – so prizes need to be  higher value too. Most importantly, you promotion will require the careful planning and help of experts like PromoVeritas – from following the rules in your Terms & Conditions to help with extracting data.

To find out more about running promotions, prize draws and competitions on TikTok and other platforms contact us at info@promoveritas.com or why not join us at our webinar all about Running Social Media Promotions, on Tuesday 30th June at 11am UK.


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